Kay Burley has agreed to stay off Sky News for six months after admitting breaking Covid-19 safety rules, it has been announced.
The TV host, 59, who presented a daily breakfast show on Sky News, was facing an internal inquiry for what she described as “an error of judgment”.
Burley said she was celebrating her 60th birthday at a “Covid-compliant” restaurant on Saturday and afterwards “popped into another” venue to use the bathroom.
The gathering was reportedly in London, which is under Tier 2 restrictions.
The news was announced on Sky News on Thursday afternoon. Presenter Sarah Hewson said a “small number of Sky News staff” attended a “social event” in central London in which Covid rules were broken.
“As a result of an internal review Sky News presenter Kay Burley has agreed to be off air for six months and political editor Beth Rigby and correspondent Inzamam Rashid have agreed to be off air for three months.”
It continued: “All of those involved regret the incident and have apologised. Everyone here at Sky News is expected to comply with the rules and the company takes breaches of these very seriously indeed.”
Shortly afterwards, Burley issued a statement on Twitter in which she said she had agreed with Sky News to “step back from my broadcasting role for a period of reflection”.
It read: “It’s clear to me that we are all in the fight against Covid-19 and that we all have a duty to stick firmly by the rules.
“It doesn’t matter that I thought I was Covid-compliant on a recent social event. The fact is I was wrong, I made a big mistake, and I am sorry.
“Some dear friends and colleagues – some of the most talented and committed professionals in our business – have been pulled into this episode and I regret this enormously.
“I was one of the founding presenters on Sky News. No one is prouder of our channel’s reputation, the professionals on our team, and the impact we make. Buy Google Reviews
“I very much look forward to being able to continue my 32-year career with Sky when I return.”